Metal Chick of the Month – Cammie Gilbert

Holding on to everything you say… Cause’ your words they paint a picture of me…

In a very difficult year where the world sadly witnessed an increase in violence and racism against black people, and of course the more-than-necessary rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in their fight for freedom, liberation and justice, we at The Headbanging Moose want to share with all of you our humble tribute to another black woman who has been brilliantly fighting all that racism and showing to the world black women have their place in heavy music, just like other rock and metal divas who have already been honored here on our webzine like Melissa Bonny, Militia Vox, Alexis Brown, Thalìa Bellazecca and Kayla Dixon. I’m talking about the multi-talented and gorgeous vocalist and songwriter Cammie Gilbert, the stunning frontwoman for American Progressive Rock and Metal act Oceans of Slumber, a band that has already been labeled by many as “Opeth or Katatonia with female vocals”, but that in my opinion managed to craft their own sound and style, embellishing the airwaves with their delicate but at the same time scorching creations.

Born on October 8, 1987 in Shepherd, a city located in San Jacinto County, Texas, in the United States, Cammie joined Houston, Texas-based Oceans of Slumber at the age of 27, more specifically in the year of 2014 after the departure of the band’s former vocalist Ronnie Allen, who had been with the band since their inception in 2011. Cammie, who’s by the way on a solid and healthy relationship with the band’s founder, drummer and pianist Dobber Beverly, the sole reminiscent of their original lineup, became the primary songwriter for the group after joining, having already released with Oceans of Slumber the EP Blue, in 2015, followed by the full-length albums Winter (2016), The Banished Heart (2018) and more recently Oceans of Slumber (2020), all available for a full listen on Spotify. You can enjoy tons of amazing official videos of Cammie and Oceans of Slumber kicking some serious ass on their YouTube channel, including the songs The Decay Of Disregard, Pray for Fire, The Colors of Grace, The Adorned Fathomless Creation, Winter, To the Sea (A Tolling of the Bells), The Banished Heart, Strange Fruit, Suffer The Last Bridge, a cover version for Candlemass’ Solitude, an acoustic version for Turpentine, and a live in the studio version for the song This Road.

Currently comprised of the aforementioned Cammie and Dobber together with keyboardist Mat V. Aleman and newcomers Jessie Santos and Alexander Lucian on the guitars and Semir Ozerkan on bass, Cammie said that the band’s former guitarists Sean Gary and Anthony Contreras and bassist Keegan Kelly wanted to explore different influences and styles which never fit with what Oceans of Slumber were doing at that time, the kind of tension that’s absolutely normal, but she also said there were tensions as soon as she got into the band, resulting in a split between the former members not wanting to be “female fronted”. “There is a certain metal crowd that thinks its a gimmick. I’m not growling, I just sing clean and am emotional, but a lot of male singers have that emotion too. There’s just stigmas that make anything a woman does, the wrong thing for metal. We had a couple of those old school attitudes and transition wasn’t their strong suite,” mentioned Cammie in one of her interviews.

Apart from her years with Oceans of Slumber, Cammie is also the lead singer for a Houston, Texas-based project called Genoa Band together with Dobber and guitarist Christian Larson, another branch from Oceans of Slumber’s musical tree drawing upon the lyrical and atmospheric production of bands and artists like Nick Cave, Portishead and This Mortal Coil while still sounding heavy but more intimate, playing a fusion of styles such as Southern, Gothic and Dark Rock. However, there’s nothing officially released by the band and no news since mid-2019 when they announced their first single Paraffin was almost ready to be released, making me think if they gave up the idea of moving forward with the project due to everything that has been going on with Oceans of Slumber, including the recording and release of their 2020 self-titled album. You can also find Cammie as a very special guest in the 2020 album Transitus, by Dutch Progressive Metal/Rock project Ayreon, playing the part of Abby throughout the entire album. “We met a friend of Arjen Lucassen over in the UK and he was interviewing us and asked if there was anything that we wanted to tell Arjen. And so Dobber is like, ‘Yeah, if he could get any of us on an album, we’re big fans, and if you could have him listen to The Banished Heart, that’d be great.’ And so he followed through with that request. Shortly after that Arjen wrote that he loved The Banished Heart and he would love to work with me someday. And we were like, ‘Yeah, of course that’d be great.’ And then maybe a couple more months after that, it was, ‘You want to be on the album?’ And I peed my pants,” commented Cammie about her collaboration with one of her idols in heavy music.

When asked to make a list of the top 10 albums that changed her life, Cammie listed a collection of albums that usually occupy a dark corner of her mind where often emotions outweigh the heaviness of the music, including 40 Watt Sun’s 2011 EP The Inside Room, Agnes Obel’s 2013 album Aventine, Alice In Chains’ 1992 album Dirt (which by the way reminds her why she loves the kind of music that she makes), Anathema’s 2012 album Weather Systems, Eivør’s 2015 album Slør, Evergrey’s 2016 album The Storm Within, Katatonia’s 2016 album The Fall Of Hearts, Swallow The Sun’s 2015 triple album Songs From The North I, II & III, Agents Of Oblivion’s 2000 self-titled album, and last but not least, Type O Negative’s 1996 masterpiece October Rust. “I love Peter Steele. We love Type O Negative, there’s  just nothing like it. We go through a lot of his albums but that’s the main one for me. I love Cinnamon Girl, Be My Druidess and also Wolf Moon. Dobber saw them live once. Super jealous. I’ve just had to make up for it by reading the autobiography, and he buys everything he can as far as media regarding the band. It’s an experience to go through their songs. He [Peter Steele] is such a clever lyricist. It’s the funniest kind of music I feel like I listen to. It brings up my energy and makes me happy,” commented our talented vocalist about the unparalleled work by Mr. Peter Steele (R.I.P.).

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In one of her interviews, when questioned about the lack of more black women in heavy music, Cammie said that it’s due to a multitude of reasons, including sexist comments saying that her voice would fit pop or hip hop music much better than metal, and that clean singing that isn’t symphonic is connotated to sounding pop, which might influence the decision of a black woman to move towards a soul, gospel, R&B or blues direction. Cammie herself was basically told to sing in hip hop or pop and to never go anywhere near rock and metal, but no one ever told her why except for the preconceptions already mentioned. “And what Dobber heard in my voice and what he heard from me… I’m a very melancholy person. I’m in and out of bouts of depression and what I identify with metal and metal-adjacent music is, what I identify with the music that I find, if it makes me, if I’m already sad and it makes me sadder then I’m like, “This is going on a playlist.” And I like things that give me these, not give me these dark feelings, but validate my dark feelings, because I feel like that helps me release them,” said Cammie, also saying that she feels that’s changing as there are more and more alternative black and black metalhead females out there. For instance, her own parents were extremely religious, not allowing her to listen to extreme styles like Death Metal or Grindcore, but that’s different now as younger black kids and people in general can have access to all types of metal music through their phones, for example.

When questioned about the Black Lives Matter movement, racism and if metal has a problem with racism, she said that racism is everywhere, and that it’s something more people have to unlearn than they realize, especially in America. Despite being fortunate enough to not experience too many issues related to racism since joining Oceans of Slumber, she stated that she can no longer approach this subject without a multitude of emotions overtaking her resolve, nor keep the angry tears from welling up and pouring out of her eyes when black senators, mayors, celebrities and brave people online share their frustrations over America’s shortcomings. She feels like her history and the entire country are broken, with George Floyd’s death being a tipping point or a catalyst for a new generation to finally say enough is enough due to the undeniable ruthlessness in which his life was taken. “When you think about the history of America, there’s very little that’s good for anyone who isn’t white. That’s just the truth. It leaves a hollow feeling in your chest taking this information in from so many different outlets. You realize this country isn’t fixing something, it’s letting something go,” complemented Cammie about such delicate matter, also saying that in the days ahead we face the challenge of putting these emotions into goal-focused actions.

Lastly, always evolving as a vocalist and always ready to experiment with her music, Cammie is more than sure Oceans of Slumber are already starting to break out of the Progressive Rock and Metal scene, letting her inspirations guide her music and warning people who already like the band that they’ll have to let go of any expectations for what comes next, leaving us curious to see what the future holds for her and for Oceans of Slumber. Furthermore, as the fantastic vocalist  that she is, Cammie surely misses the stage and performing live to the band’s fans and to newcomers to their progressive world, and they’re already thinking of ways of getting back onstage in Houston obeying all recommended protocols of social distancing to keep everyone safe, including obviously all band members. And, of course, all of us fans of a good fusion of progressiveness, emotions and heavy music can’t wait to see Cammie back to where she belongs, mesmerizing us all with her powerful voice and showing us all black girls can and will forever rock no matter what.

Cammie Gilbert’s Official Instagram
Oceans of Slumber’s Official Facebook page
Oceans of Slumber’s Official Instagram
Oceans of Slumber’s Official Twitter
Oceans of Slumber’s Official YouTube channel

“I am a black woman in America and I am the great, great granddaughter of slaves. Memories upheld only in photographs; as a little girl I would try to imagine what their lives were like. But as it goes, reality unravelled the mystery behind my childish imagination. Now when I see old photos in civil war documentaries, I see their faces. When I watch the grainy black and white footage depicting the Jim Crow era, I see their faces. When I watch the films of the marches inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., I see their faces. And now when I sign into social media and see protestors getting tear-gassed, I see their faces, only now mine is there too.” – Cammie Gilbert

Metal Chick of the Month – Mariia “Masha” Dementieva

Raise some hell, our true Lady Evil!

Are you ready to scream and roar together with our metal chick of the month of April in the name of darkness and evil, here on The Headbanging Moose webzine? If you’re a fan of the blasphemous, obscure and absolutely awesome music played by renowned acts like Behemoth, Septicflesh and Kaoteon, among many others, you’ll fall in love with the talent and beauty of Mariia “Masha” Dementieva, also known as simply Masha (or even  Mary Crematorium in a not-so-distant past, and if you prefer, Мария Дементьева in her mother tongue), the unrelenting frontwoman for Ukrainian Blackened Death Metal horde Nordwitch. That, of course, if you come from another galaxy or dimension and haven’t listened to Nordwitch’s sulfurous music yet, because if you’re from this planet I’m sure you’re already addicted to Masha’s demonic growling.

Although there’s isn’t much available online about Masha’s personal life (apart from many awesome photos from her career as a model, photo model and alternative tattoo model), you can still enjoy a good amount of information from her ass-kicking Kyiv-based band Nordwitch, formed in 2015. Singing about some very interesting topics such as satanism, occultism and ancient Scandinavian mythology, Nordwitch bring forth a flammable fusion of Black and Death Metal in their music, offering tons of melody amidst a brutal sonic devastation. The name Nordwitch, according to Masha herself, is the band’s representation of the mysticism and mystery of Scandinavian witches with a hint of female sexuality, which by the way matches perfectly with her diabolical vocal style. As a matter of fact, before becoming Nordwitch, Masha and the rest of the band, guitarists Max and Leo and bassist Max Senchilo, were all part of a Symphonic/Progressive Metal band named Crystalnight, where Masha was not their vocalist, but their keyboardist. If you’re curious to know how Masha and her bandmates used to sound before morphing into the dark beast known as Nordwitch, you can take a listen at some of their songs from their ReverbNation profile, such as Dark Angel and the original version of Nordwitch’s crushing tune Lady Evil.

In addition, not only Masha spearheads her horde of Blackened Death Metal in Nordwitch, but she was also one of the producers of their 2016 opus Mørk Profeti together with the other members of the band. You can listen to their pulverizing album in full on YouTube, and raise your horns to amazing songs like the aforementioned Lady Evil and Messiah of Death, or search for some live footage online like this one where the band is playing Lady Evil live at MHM – Metal Head’s Mission Festival in 2018. Furthermore, don’t forget to buy your copy of the album at the Satanath Records BandCamp, to subscribe to the band’s YouTube channel (where you can find for example a fun and raw version of the song No Regret live in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2016), follow them on VKontakte, and listen to more of their music through their ReverbNation and SoundCloud profiles. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to some brutal metal music like this remastered live version of Messiah of Death, right?

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In regards to her idols and main influences in music and in life in general, Masha said in one of her interviews that not only herself but all of her bandmates are inspired by mysticism, occultism and several other eccentric topics when writing their music, always trying to make their sound as unique as possible. As the main founder and central figure of Nordwitch, a project that was originated inside her pagan mind, Masha is obviously influenced by all classic Black Metal bands, such as Mayhem, Watain and Bathory, which she’s been a fan since she was a teenager, and you can see how much she’s passionate about such controversial but fantastic subgenre of heavy music by visiting her official Instagram account and searching for her personal videos playing several Black Metal classics on the piano and keyboard. For instance, take a very good listen at her delicate but at the same time piercing piano versions for Burzum’s Dunkelheit and Han Som Reiste, Dark Funeral’s Stigmata, Dissection’s Where Dead Angels Lie and Thorns Of Crimson Death, and Shining’s Tillsammans Är Vi Allt, among others, as well as non-Black Metal hymns like Type O Negative’s Love You To Death. In addition, she mentioned in an interview that she’s also influenced by classical music and Scandinavian folk music, which kind of explains her passion for the piano, and that Runhild Gammelsæter, a Norwegian musician notable for being the vocalist for the American bands Thorr’s Hammer and Khlyst, is her favorite female metal singer of all time, complementing by saying that she cannot choose only one male singer as her favorite, though, as there are too many.

When asked about her hobbies outside of music, Masha listed a few very interesting and healthy activities, like working out and practicing sports, modeling and photography, also mentioning her interest in satanism, occultism and the mythology of ancient Scandinavia, which as aforementioned are the main topics covered in the music by Nordwitch. In addition, Masha said in one of her interviews she’s an apolitical person, as in her opinion true Black Metal has always been and will continue to be away from politics or anything related to it, being focused on religion and other more obscure topics. She also said that she had always dreamed about being in an Extreme Metal band like Nordwitch, but she wasn’t sure if that was going to actually happen one day, also saying she understands being a woman in a Black and Death Metal band from the underground scene is not easy at all, but that she won’t give up and keep on rockin’, always counting on the support form her family, friends and fans, aiming as high as possible with Nordwitch in the years to come. And we, true metalheads, will be ready to hail darkness and raise our horns together with the unstoppable Masha and her henchmen, no doubt about that.

Masha’s Official Instagram
NordWitch’s Official Facebook page
NordWitch’s Official VKontakte
NordWitch’s Official YouTube channel

Metal Chick of the Month – Elizabeth Schall

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So follow me now, you’re falling behind… Have the will to set free…

It’s time to get really heavy at The Headbanging Moose with a woman that not only kicks some serious ass on guitar, but she manages to channel all her passion for Heavy Metal into her music flawlessly, creating some sick tunes that will definitely put you to bang your head and raise your horns like crazy. Of Chilean descent, here comes the incredible metal shredder Elizabeth Schall, an American singer, songwriter and guitarist mainly known for her work with Winterthrall, Dreaming Dead and The Iron Maidens, among several other bands and projects. If you want to know how badass Elizabeth is, let me tell you that some of her biggest influences in music are Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth. Do I need to say more?

Daughter of Federico and Amanda Renee Schall, Elizabeth had to relocate to Chile after living in California, which despite not being easy for her and her family in the beginning it helped them learn to appreciate what they left behind in the United States, not to mention the enormous benefit for Elizabeth as she became fully bilingual then. In regards to music, our kick-ass guitarist started taking accordion lessons at an early stage of her life, switching to guitar later, saying that if it wasn’t for the accordion lessons maybe she wouldn’t be playing guitar today. Due to her exceptional skills as a guitar player, her commitment to learning the instrument and her passion for Heavy Metal, Elizabeth has become a role model for many young women who want to play guitar and play extreme music.

In regards to her career in metal music, she first came into the scene when she was recruited to join Death Metal band Winterthrall in 2003 as their guitarist and also doing backing vocals, leaving the band two years later. It was in September 2005 that she finally joined The Iron Maidens, right after the departure of guitarist and co-founder Josephine Draven, becoming the female version of Adrian Smith named “Adrianne Smith”. Despite leaving the band one year later, in October 2006, Elizabeth rejoined them in June 2010 in a guest appearance as “Deena Murray”. There’s a full concert of The Iron Maidens with Elizabeth on the guitar on YouTube, recorded on August 25, 2006 at Vinnie’s Bar & Grill in Concord, California, which might not be a high-quality footage but at least you can have a pretty good idea of how awesome she sounds playing all the mighty classics from Iron Maiden.

It was in 2006 when Elizabeth formed the band Manslaughter together with drummer Mike Caffell, recording that same year the EP Through the Eyes of Insanity. Following a brief tour, our raven-haired bombshell and Mike renamed the band to Dreaming Dead, recording the albums Within One in 2009, Midnightmares in 2012, and Funeral Twilight (which will soon be reviewed here at The Headbanging Moose) now in 2017. In all three records she was responsible for vocals and guitar, but in Within One our daredevil musician also recorded bass guitar and wrote all lyrics, proving how talented she is and how destined she was to heavy music. If you want to have a good taste of the havoc Elizabeth and Dreaming Dead are capable of generating, you should take a good listen at potent compositions like Midnightmares (you can check the official video for it at the end of this essay), Overlord and Buried.

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There are several other bands and projects where we can find Elizabeth shredding her axe, most of them related to Death Metal with hints of other extreme (and even not-so-extreme) subgenres of heavy music. Since 2013 she has been part of American Death Metal/Grindcore band Cretin, blasting her vicious riffs and solos in songs such as It from their 2014 album Stranger, and since 2014 she’s also been the guitarist for American Death/Thrash/Groove Metal project Dia de los Muertos.  In addition, you can also enjoy Elizabeth on lead guitar on  the song My Secret Things, from the 2012 album Horny Beast by American Heavy Metal/Deathrock band Lover of Sin; her backing vocals on the Cacophony cover Burn the Ground, from the 2008 album Future Addict, by the Progressive Rock/Metal solo project led by renowned guitarist Marty Friedman; and on piano on the 2012 album Results, by American Death Metal/Grindcore band Murder Construct (a side-project of members from Exhumed and Cattle Decapitation). If playing the guitar, the piano and singing is not enough for you, how about her work as a photographer in the 2013 album The Dead Still Dead Remain (a completely re-recorded version of the 2000 full-length The Dead Shall Dead Remain featuring the return of Leon del Muerte), by American Death Metal band Impaled? That’s how skillful our badass Elizabeth is.

Elizabeth, who by the way used to be married to Charles Elliott, lead singer and guitarist for American Death Metal band Abysmal Dawn, cites Swedish musician Peter Tägtgren (Hipocrisy, Pain) and American guitar hero Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) among her main influences, as well as renowned acts like Cryptopsy, Metallica, and the aforementioned Megadeth and Slayer. If you want to take a look at how our stunning guitar player deals with her beloved instrument, you can watch this high quality video of Elizabeth setting up and tuning her guitar, where she reviews tools, changing strings, tuning (from B to E standard), action and intonation, or also this other video where she talks about and demos her favorite Fernandes guitar and the Fernandes Sustainer.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this short but humble tribute to the amazing Elizabeth is the list of her favorite guitar riffs published on Decibel Magazine in July 2012, where she commented on the most impactful and meaningful riffs in her life, the ones that helped shape up her style and enhanced her relationship with her instrument. In the article you’ll be able to see exactly which riffs from specific songs she loves the most, blending metal and non-metal acts on her list. Obviously, as this is a Heavy Metal webzine, we need to highlight the presence of unmatched classics like Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls (by the way, she said she’s crazy about all the riffs in this masterpiece), Emperor’s The Tongue Of Fire, Type O Negative’s Love You To Death, and my favorite of all by far, Iron Maiden’s all-time classic Aces High. However, you’ll also find other interesting riffs from non-metal acts on her list, such as Los Prisioneros’ Estrechez de Corazon (80’s Chilean alternative pop) and Soundgarden’s Jesus Christ Pose. Well, there’s of course one of her own riffs on the list, the one from the chorus of the song Overlord by Dreaming Dead, but that’s more than expected when the musician in question is extremely talented and her music kicks some serious ass.

Elizabeth Schall’s Official Facebook page
Elizabeth Schall’s Official Twitter
Elizabeth Schall’s Official YouTube channel
Elizabeth Schall’s Official ReverbNation
Dreaming Dead’s Official Facebook page
Dreaming Dead’s Official Twitter
Dreaming Dead’s Official ReverbNation

“I like to think I live in a world where my gender has nothing to do with what I am capable of doing. You go onto YouTube and see 13-year old girls shredding out on metal songs.” – Elizabeth Schall

Interview – Cadaveria

Descend into the dark world of Cadaveria and Necrodeath in this exclusive interview to The Headbanging Moose where Cadaveria herself and Flegias discuss the past, present and future of their music, their high-yielding longtime partnership and the metal scene in Italy, among other topics.

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Cadaveria

The Headbanging Moose: First of all, could you please give a brief introduction of who Cadaveria is for the readers of The Headbanging Moose who for some reason don’t know you and your music yet? How would you define your style, and what’s your main objective with your music?

Cadaveria: CADAVERIA was formed in 2001 by Marçelo Santos (Flegias) and I with the intent to create a virtual space where to freely express ourselves as musicians and extreme artists. Since then we released five full length albums, a double DVD and, recently, an EP, entitled Mondoscuro, with the cooperation of Necrodeath. Basically our music is a personal mix of Black Metal and Death Metal with Doom and Gothic influences. Fans and critics have labeled it Horror Metal, not just for my dark and pale image, but rather for the obscure atmospheres evoked by our songs. This definition leaves us free to experiment while we compose and to play the music we like and feel, with no particular boundaries and without following any trend.

THM: What was the main idea that originated the amazing and distinct project Mondoscuro? You defined it as “a blood pact between two diabolic entities that will give life to a new irreligious and obscure soul”. Could you please explain that in more details for our readers?

Cadaveria: The idea to work with Necrodeath was flowing in our minds since a long time. These two bands have an individual history and they have always walked along parallel paths without meeting each other, but at the same time there is a strong connection between them, for the fact we share two band members: our drummer, Marçelo Santos/Flegias, is Necrodeath’s singer and GL/Peter Dayton plays the bass in both the bands. Last year we felt the time has come to make it real, so we started thinking about this EP and its contents. We wanted to create something special, not an ordinary split EP, and we wanted the two bands interact on the same songs. Finally Mondoscuro features two brand new and co-written songs, two covers (one of The Beatles and one of Type O Negative) and two unusual “exchange of roles”, that see CADAVERIA reinterpreting a classic by Necrodeath and Necrodeath performing a CADAVERIA hit. The EP title reminds of “Mondocane Project One” split by Necrodeath and Schizo, released in 1990, and it also refers to the cinematographic genre “Mondo film” of explicit documentaries, born in the 60s and depicting sensational, bloody and shocking scenes. The cover artwork synthesizes this topics in some way.

THM: How is your relationship with the other half of Mondoscuro, the unstoppable Black/Thrash Metal band Necrodeath? As you and Flegias have been together for decades already, since your time with Opera IX from 1992 to 2001, how easy was the process for you to compose songs together for this very special album, as well as playing each other’s songs (Cadaveria playing Mater Tenebrarum and Necrodeath playing Spell)?

Cadaveria: The creation of Mondoscuro was quite demanding. The involved bands have different methods concerning songwriting, so sometimes it was hard to merge forces. I enjoyed a lot to write the lyrics for Necrodeath’s song “Rise Above”, to cover “Mater Tenebrarum” and of course to duet with Flegias. This was a great for us both, although we play together since 1991. Recordings took place in two different Italian studios, so that each band preserved its own sound, vocal duets took place in the same studio where CADAVERIA recorded the rest of the EP and the recording studios worked in connection, in order to give unity to the final product.

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Album Review – Mondoscuro / Mondoscuro EP (2016)

THM: Two tracks in Mondoscuro that certainly caught my attention were your cover version for Type O Negative’s classic Christian Woman, and Necrodeath firing a sick version for The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. Why did you and Necrodeath chose those specific songs to be part of Mondoscuro? What do they represent to your life and career?

Flegias: “Christian Woman” is part of “Bloody Kisses”, an album that Cadaveria and I have consumed and listened to so many times in our early years, it is part of our background. It formed that particular “doom-and-romantic” soul that you can often find in CADAVERIA compositions. The rest of CADAVERIA band love it as well and when we proposed to cover Christian Woman there was a standing ovation. For what concerns “Helter Skelter” we wanted to pay homage to a song that is considered the first heavy metal track ever composed in all the history of heavy metal. In addition, Peso, Necrodeath drummer, is a great expert of The Beatles and of Ringo Starr, a genius and a great innovator of the drums.

THM:  Another interesting detail in Mondoscuro is that, in the brand new song Rise Above, the first few sentences of the lyrics are in Italian, your mother tongue. English might be the “official language” of Dark Metal, but don’t you think more songs in Italian would bring an extra layer of obscurity and lust to the music? I’m asking this because I personally enjoyed a lot the energy of the Italian words in Rise Above and I would love to see more of that in the music by Cadaveria.

Flegias: Despite the fact the last full length from Necrodeath, “The Seven Deadly Sins”, was half written and sung in Italian, for me to sing in Italian was more difficult than to do it in English. By the way I’m very satisfied of this choice made by Cadaveria concerning the language to use in this song, the parts to leave in Italian and the parts of the lyrics I had to sing.

Cadaveria: I usually write lyrics in Italian then I translate them into English. Sometimes I feel English doesn’t get the proper synonym for a word. In those cases the temptation to leave it in Italian is strong, but usually I search and find a satisfying solution. This time, with Rise Above, I decided in advance what parts to compose and leave in Italian. The very beginning is a prologue, a sort of ritual or a prayer and it sounded so good like this. The following verses came to me in rhyme, so they were born to live in Italian.  But I don’t think an entire album in Italian would be a good idea. I like to use this language when verses are particularly poetic and the music is very atmospheric, but I think Italian lyrics would sound a bit punk-hardcore on a fast tempo.

THM: In regards to your career, what has changed in the music by Cadaveria from when the band started back in 2001 (with the release of The Shadows’ Madame in 2002) until today, and what have the biggest challenges been for the band to stay alive and kicking ass through the years?

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Flegias (Necrodeath)

Cadaveria: We grew up as musicians and producers of ourselves. And we grew up as human beings, so the music we play now is on a higher level, enriched by our experiences. Passion and independence are still the same. This is probably what made us survive in the music business. I’m very proud of the fact we have our own style, that makes us be noticeable among so many clones.

THM: What’s next for Cadaveria? After the excellent album Silence, from 2014, and now Mondoscuro, what does the future hold for the band? Can we expect another project like Mondoscuro soon, or is it time for a brand new Cadaveria album to become alive?

Cadaveria: In the last four years we never stopped working, we have released the Horror Metal album, re-mastered and released our debut full length The Shadows’ Madame, we gave life to the retrospective double DVD Karma, then it was the time for Silence album and now Mondoscuro EP, without counting we played about 60 live gigs in Europe and outside it. It’s time to take a short break. I need to recharge energy and to find new inspiration before starting working on a new album, that could be the last one for us. And so it must be unique and perfect. In the meanwhile Mondoscuro will be released on vinyl by the end of this year and in Spring 2017 we will re-release our 2nd album Far Away From Conformity (2004). Both releases will be via Sleaszy Rider records. We will continue to play live here and there and I hope to be invited to play in places where we have never been before.

THM: Talking about your personal life now, what does Raffaella Rivarolo do in her free time that Cadaveria doesn’t do, and vice-versa? How do you work on the transition between the two, and how do you manage to keep both entities separate in your life? Or are Raffaella and Cadaveria the exact same person, sharing all their likes and dislikes all the time?

Cadaveria: Well, basically Cadaveria and Raffaella are the same person, it’s just a matter of names… (but many people call me Cadaveria or Cada in private life too). I love art and when I’m not busy with music I make videos (music videos, institutional, etc) to pay my bills. I travelled a lot in the last two years to follow an Italian athlete who cycled the world by bike. I made some video documentaries about this. You will find a lot of Raffaella in CADAVERIA lyrics… the experiences I live flow into CADAVERIA songs.

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Album Review – Cadaveria / Silence (2014)

THM: I’ve been reviewing so many incredible Italian bands lately it’s hard to name just a few, for example we have the electrified Metalcore by Moth’s Circle Flight, the fusion of Black and Heavy Metal blasted by Malamorte, the badass Rock N’ Roll by Helligators and Roadless, the beautiful Gothic and Doom Metal by Witches Of Doom, among many others. How do you see the state of the underground metal scene in Italy today? What have been the biggest improvements in Italian metal, and what’s still far from being acceptable in your opinion?

Cadaveria: Italy counts many new bands that try to emerge and be noticed in the underground music scene. But in Italy everything connected to culture is very difficult to carry out and unfortunately music is not considered a major art here. I always say to new comers: do it just for yourself, release your passion and don’t think about success. Rather try to make the difference.

THM: Here at The Headbanging Moose we have a special section called Metal Chick of the Month, where every month we pay a tribute to an already established and prominent woman in metal such as Masha Scream (Arkona) and Lena Abé (My Dying Bride), or to an up-and-coming lady from an underground band that’s starting to make a difference in heavy music. How do you see the importance of women in metal today? And who are your biggest female idols in music?

Cadaveria: Yes and I can see it today and, however, I have never experienced any discrimination for being a female. Male or female it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to be strong and faithful to yourself. Music has no sex. The first female voice I heard in extreme metal was Sabina Classen. I was in the beginning of my career so I’m in a certain sense connected with her. I do not have idols but I like Skin’s voice very much.

THM: How about your current and upcoming tour dates to support the release of Mondoscuro? How have the fans reacted to the new songs and to the overall project during your live performances? And can we expect a Cadaveria tour to Canada and the United States in a not-so-distant future? We have a huge Italian community here in Toronto that would love to have you perform in front of them, no doubt about that.

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Beautiful witch give light to this black muddy sky…

Flegias: We did a unique show for Mondoscuro at an important festival in Italy last month. We had the opportunity to play a great show with a specific scenic design that evoked the birth and death theme of Mondoscuro. Just to mention a detail, Cadaveria appeared on stage in a mortuary body bag… and we performed some songs singing together. All was perfect and really great, but this will remain unique and once in a lifetime. The effort to bring two bands like this on the same stage into the same show is very big. We spent a lot of energies in this and we decided that it will not be possible to replicate this project live on stage in the future.

Cadaveria: We will bring at least one song from Mondoscuro in CADAVERIA future set list. As I said I need a pause, so next shows will happen in 2017. We would love to tour your country! We had received a couple of offers in the past but we need also a US tour segment to add, to make costs be covered. We really hope the Italian community in Toronto who wants to see us playing there will make their voices be heard by local promoters. Ask them to invite us. We are available and ready to kick ass.

THM: Thank you very much for your time, I truly appreciate that.  Please feel free to send a final message to all our readers and all metalheads not only in Canada, but everywhere else in the world.

Cadaveria: Flegias and I want to thank you a lot for your attention and interest. Hail to all CADAVERIA and Necrodeath fans. Check out Mondoscuro!

Links
Cadaveria Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
Necrodeath Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Album Review – Mondoscuro / Mondoscuro EP (2016)

Enter the exciting dark world newly created by Italian legendary bands Cadaveria and Necrodeath, and your life will never be the same again.

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mondoscuro_coverartworkMore than just a regular split album, what you’ll find in the special release entitled Mondoscuro (the fusion of the Italian words “mondo” and “oscuro”, meaning “dark world”) is a fresh and vibrant cooperation between two legendary bands from the Italian metal scene, those being Biella-based Gothic/Horror Metal act Cadaveria and Genoa’s own Black/Thrash Metal squad Necrodeath. Our stunning diva Raffaella Rivarolo, commonly known as Cadaveria, has defined this unique project as “a blood pact between two diabolic entities that will give life to a new irreligious and obscure soul”, while Alberto Gaggiotti, known as Necrodeath’s frontman Flegias and also as Cadaveria’s drummer Marçelo Santos, also defined this collaboration between these iconic bands as “a pact between these entities, which has been haunting us for some time, and now the time has come to exorcise it, entering together in the same studio.” Based on the hellish words by both Cadaveria and Flegias, you can have a very good idea of what you’ll find in Mondoscuro.

The creepy artwork by Italian artist Paolo Perrotta Mazza is a precise depiction of the dark world crafted by Cadaveria and Necrodeath, portraying a mutilated woman with her throat slit and a dead fetus hanging from her stomach. Nothing could better represent the fusion of Black, Death, Gothic and Horror Metal than that, a diabolic combination of different subgenres of extreme music brought forth by two of the most important groups of the Italian underground scene. Furthermore, the way this amalgamation of evil is presented to the listener also deserves our attention, as the bands invert their roles, playing each other’s classics, firing brand new material composed together and paying a tribute to some of their favorite artists, all wrapped up in around 30 minutes of high-quality music emanating professionalism and passion for what they do. What else can you ask for in a heavy music album?

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Cadaveria

This devilish masquerade ball kicks off with Cadaveria playing Necrodeath’s sonic havoc Mater Tenebrarum, from their 1987 album Into the Macabre (check the original version HERE). There was absolutely no doubt this version was going to sound darkly delicious, with Cadaveria firing her trademark demonic gnarls blended with ominous clean parts after the song’s  somber intro. Not only this song presents a wilder and more metallic side of Cadaveria, but the epic operatic ending (from Keith Emerson’s Inferno outro) features some very special guests including the multi-talented Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth, Schoolcraft, The Astroplex). Then it’s Necordeath’s turn to provide their view of Cadaveria’s Spell, from their 2002 album The Shadows’ Madame (listen to the original version HERE), sounding as infernal as possible. Flegias does a great job on vocals, turning the original song into a more hellish tune, as well as guitarist Pier with his old school Thrash Metal attack through the sound blasted from his six-stringed ax.

The second act brings forward two brand new songs by Cadaveria and Necrodeath, starting with Dominion of Pain, where Dark and Black Metal are united by the demonic vocal duo of Cadaveria and Flegias, who together blast the song’s psychological words flawlessly (“Overtaking the boundaries of consciousness / Dominating the fevers of pain / Exorcising all fears with the violence of truth / Dissipating the ashes of uncertainty.”). In addition to that, Marçelo Santos (or Flegias, if you prefer) does a very good job with his rhythmic beats, with the last piece of the song offering that type of sluggish and somber Doom Metal powerfully blasted by bands like Cadaveria and My Dying Bride. Rise Above, a wicked marriage of Thrash and Gothic Metal fired by Necrodeath with guest vocalist Cadaveria and guitarist Dick Laurent, showcases truly Stygian lyrics (“I found your name trace in the ancient Book of Shadows / I felt your strength inside the circle of a spell / I want reality obey your dark commands / My soul is troubled by indomitable sensations.”) and a fiery Peso providing his share of aggressiveness and harmony to the musicality through his bestial drums. Moreover, its chorus couldn’t sound more old school, highly inspired by the darkest and most macabre metal music from the 80’s.

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Necrodeath

The last duo of compositions are in fact cover versions for two of the most important bands in the history of music, American Gothic/Doom Metal band Type O Negative and the unparalleled The Beatles. Cadaveria is the first one to pay homage to Type O Negative through her outstanding version for Christian Woman (check the original version from the 1993 classic Bloody Kisses HERE), a powerful and passionate tribute to Peter Steele (R.I.P.) and his iconic band. Although it doesn’t beat the beauty of the original version for obvious reasons, the low-tuned obscure guitar lines by Dick Laurent and the devilish performance by Cadaveria deserve our humble recognition so amazing they are, all embraced by atmospheric keyboards and a lustful vampiric vibe. And closing this special album we have Necrodeath playing a thrashier-than-ever version of one of the biggest classics by The Beatles, Helter Skelter, from their 1968 cult album The White Album (see the difference from the original version HERE). In this eccentric version of an old school rock anthem, the whole band is on fire, especially Flegias with his deranged growls, turning what used to be just a fast-paced Rock N’ Roll song into a brutal mosh pit-generator.

If you think you have what it takes to survive this brand new dark world created by those two iconic bands from Italy, all you have to do is go check both Cadaveria’s and Necrodeath’s Facebook pages, and purchase your copy of the EP at Cadaveria’s official webshop or at the Black Tears’ webshop. But let me warn you that once you enter this “mondoscuro” built by Cadaveria and Necrodeath there’s no turning back, as you’ll be consumed by their vile and merciless extreme music, becoming a prisoner to their realm of darkness. To be fair, I guess that’s what you’ve always wanted to happen when the band in question is Cadaveria, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Mater Tenebrarum and Dominion of Pain.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Black Tears

Track listing  
1. Cadaveria – Mater Tenebrarum (Necrodeath cover feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft) 5:29
2. Necrodeath – Spell (Cadaveria cover) 5:14
3. Cadaveria – Dominion of Pain (feat. Flegias and Pier) 5:59
4. Necrodeath – Rise Above (feat. Cadaveria and Dick Laurent) 4:44
5. Cadaveria – Christian Woman (Type O Negative cover) 8:39
6. Necrodeath – Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover) 2:30

Band members
Cadaveria
Cadaveria – vocals
Dick Laurent – guitars
Peter Dayton – bass
Marçelo Santos – drums 

Necrodeath
Flegias – vocals
Pier Gonella – guitars
GL – bass
Peso – drums

Guest musicians
Lindsay Schoolcraft – lead lyric soprano on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Tiziana Ravetti – dramatic soprano on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Cristiano Caldera – tenor on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)
Ignis Forasdomine – organist on “Mater Tenebrarum” (Keith Emerson’s “Inferno” outro)